|'God is Not Afraid of New Things' ? - Joseph Farah|
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'GOD IS NOT AFRAID OF NEW THINGS'
Exclusive: Joseph Farah brings scripture to bear on Pope Francis' recent declaration
Joseph Farah is founder, editor and CEO of WND and a nationally syndicated columnist with Creators News Service.. He is the author or co-author of 13 books, including his latest, "The Tea Party Manifesto," and his classic, "Taking America Back," now in its third edition and 14th printing. Farah is the former editor of the legendary Sacramento Union and other major-market dailies.
The world is thrilled with Pope Francis' call on the church to adapt to the "changing conditions of society" and his statement, "God is not afraid of new things."
Pardon me if I take issue by warning that such statements by Christian leaders are contrary to biblical teaching.
In every generation, the Bible chronicles, society drifted from the commandments of God. God's people were warned by the prophets not to succumb to temptation, not to go the way of the world, but to remain obedient to God's Word and His calling.
Not once in biblical history did a prophet of God suggest believers should adapt to the "changing conditions of society."
It wasn't that God was "afraid of new things." He just knew from the beginning to the end that His ways were superior to man's ways. It was always in man's best interest to live by His teachings. And since God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow (Hebrews 13:8), I would, with all due respect, suggest to the pope, Catholics and all believers that the changing conditions of society should mean little to them in terms of the way they live their lives - except, perhaps, as a model of what not to do.
1 John 5:19 says: "And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness." So what matter to believers and "the church" are the "changing conditions of society"? Is there a suggestion by the pope that we should somehow conform to the world or become more tolerant of sin?
John 16:11 tells us the prince of this world is the devil. So what are we to learn from the ways of the world? And Romans 12:2 tells us: "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
Was it not that attitude and spirit which empowered the early church to "turn the world upside down"? (Acts 17:6) Are we not to be a bright light to the world rather than a dim reflection of it? Did Jesus not warn about the salt losing its savor? (Matthew 5:13-16) Are we not instructed that the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God? (1 Corinthians 3:19) Aren't we encouraged that the fashion of this world passeth away? (1 Corinthians 7:31) Hath God not made foolishness the wisdom of this world? (1 Corinthians 1:20)
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"Changing conditions of society" are, of course, to be expected. Anyone who has read the Bible will see it has always been this way. But when "changing conditions of society" mean an increase in sin and unrighteousness, believers shouldn't be a sad reflection of that condition.
Are we not cautioned to beware of those who try to lead us away from God "through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world"? (Colossians 2:8)
What do we have to learn from the world when we are instructed that we are not contending with flesh and blood but "against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places"? (Ephesians 6:12)
And did not James, the brother of Jesus, tell us: "Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." (James 4:4)
Lastly, we're instructed in 1 John 2:15-17: "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever."
As to the pope's contention that God is not afraid of "new things," there are no new things in this world for God. He's seen it all. Nothing in the evil imagination of men hasn't been imagined before and tried.
Solomon knew better than anyone: "The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun." (Ecclesiastes 1:9)
Perhaps these statements of the pope were not clearly thought out or well-articulated. But they are being widely reported by the world media. The world's loving what he said. It might be a good time for clarification - perhaps citing what God's own Word has to say about these matters.
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